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Jeweled Rice

February 11, 2011

It’s 9:30  on a warm Saturday morning. There’s a line of women outside the front door, anxiously waiting for 10:00 o’clock when the doors will finally open. Their eager faces peek through the window hoping to get a glance of  the new class sample quilts that were hung only hours before. The ladies clutch at their purses calculating how much money they have budgeted for the day and a few men tap their toes and take deep breaths, knowing that today will be costly.

Inside, the staff of Prairie Queens gathers for an informal staff meeting to discuss the day’s various activities, promotions and job assignments. The employees look out at the growing crowd and think about the great customers and friends who will come through the door.  We think back fondly about previous Open Houses’ and how we only had a handful of friends in the store. Today, we have hundreds who have come to help us celebrate our 6th Birthday!!

In the classroom, a bevy of quilting instructors spread out their quilts, patterns and sign-up sheets. They look forward to meeting our family and talking to them about the classes they have to offer. It’s an exciting day for them as well.  This is the day they get to see many of their past students and friends.  On the back table, aromas from all the delicious food wafts through the classroom and into the store, tantalizing everyone and making stomachs growl in anticipation.

Ten O’clock arrives!  The door flies open, and our family and friends make their way through the door. They gather bolts of fabric, kits and patterns and stack them on the table as they continue to shop.  Slowly they make their way back to the teachers and talk with them about all the current class offerings.  After many of them sign-up for the classes, they finally feast on the buffet of great food brought by so many.  They eventually return to the store with stomachs full and smiles wide. Our friends wait in line to get their fabrics cut or to check out and suddenly a cowbell is heard throughout the store!  It’s time for a giveaway!!!

Everyone looks around for the numbers strategically placed throughout the store on the floor.  Without elbows being thrown, they rush to the closest number and tremble in anticipation as they wait for the announcement.  With a shout, two numbers are called and the winners shout out with a shriek of delight. They have won a door prize! 

And on it goes…more customers, more smiles, more food, more classes, and more door prizes.   This is what Prairie Queens calls Open House! 

Prairie Queens Open House

Saturday, February 12, 2011

10:00 – 5:00 PM

We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at 10:00!

As a thank you to all of our loyal customers and friends, we would love to share a recipe from our Open House buffet that we hope you will enjoy.

JEWELED RICE by Najmieh Batmanglij; Adapted by Debbie Thornton
3 Cups long-grain basmati rice
1 thinly sliced onion
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 4 tablespoons of hot water
1 Cup very finely silvered orange peel
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup dried barberries, cleaned and drained
1/2 Cup ghee
1/2 Cup raisins
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon advieh (Persian spice ** see below for ingredients)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons slivered pistachios

Take all the ingredients and put into a rice cooker. Add 5 1/2 cups of water and turn on. Cook until rice is finished and serve immediately.

** Advieh: 2 tablespoons ground dried rose petals, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground cardamom, 1 tablespoon ground cumin.
***You can find all these ingredients at the International Food Market at Curtner and Union Ave. in San Jose. The employees are extremely helpful and courteous.

Enjoy more Persian recipes at the author’s website:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2011 4:21 pm

    Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Your description of the anticipation of the women waiting to come in to view the samples for the upcoming classes and to take advantage of the sale was right on!

  2. February 21, 2011 4:02 am

    Your Open House sounds fabulous! If I’m ever near you, I plan to stop in for a visit, even if there are no door prizes.

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